My Skincare Routine- Nick
Aug 26, 2020
Nick’s Nourishment (Skin Edition)
Hey everyone! My name is Nick. Just a little bit about my skin: it has definitely endured a good variety of climates. As a result, I’ve had to pay close attention to not only how my skin reacted in each new climate, but also the products that I use in my routine.
When I was in elementary school, I’d come home after school and developed a habit of always opening the fridge. I would always look for something to munch on because I was either bored or hungry. I would always notice tucked in the back left corner of our top-shelf was my mother’s goat milk moisturizing cream. I had believed my mother was twenty years old all throughout elementary school, and she sure looked like it, not a day over her second decade of life. It was the cream!
When I hit junior high school, I started to break out on my forehead and around my nose (the T-zone area). I hadn’t really heard of my friends rubbing goat milk cream on their faces, but my mom let me use some. For the first two years of junior high school, right before I went to bed, I would slather that goat milk cream all over my face. I’d miss the neck, but made sure my face was blessed with what I thought at the time was the best thing about goats.
Fast-forward to the summer after my junior year in high school, I was extremely privileged to participate in a youth exchange in South Korea. That was my first exposure to the K-beauty industry. While our program didn’t emphasize skincare, I noticed walking through the streets of early-2010s Myeondong, the bright signs of seemingly well established K-beauty brands stood strong, trying to draw in clients.
In my first year of university, I purchased my first Korean skincare product. It was the Nature Republic Aloe Vera 92% Aloe Vera gel. This multifunctional product really informed me that Korean skincare is onto something. At least, for me, it was a great product to use as either an everyday hydrator or even sleeping pack on days I was under the sun a lot.
However, with changing climates and aging, skin care products need to be tailored to your skin’s immediate needs. Living in Taipei, summers are extremely humid and sunny. It’s important not to overdo the skincare and overwhelm your skin. Also, your skin might not need the same products every day. Some days it might need less, while some days it can take more hydration. The only thing consistent is sunscreen and cleansing. Let’s take a look at my stripped-down routine, featuring some K-beauty products:
Step 1: Cleanse. Cleanse. Cleanse. Not Too Much Though.
I only cleanse my face at night since, in the morning, I do not wake up oily. Before I cleansed frequently to the point that my skin had that “tight”, squeaky clean feeling. This is actually harmful to the skin because it disrupts sebum production.
Therefore, it’s incredibly important to find a cleanser that is simultaneously gentle, hydrating, and strong enough to take off makeup, sunscreen, and other collected debris from the day. Having the “right” cleanser for your skin is vital, otherwise, it can destroy your skin. For my normal-oily, dehydrated skin type, I use a gel cleanser like the Krave Beauty Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser. Founded by Youtuber Liah Yoo, her passion for simplifying skincare while maintaining each step’s efficacy is evident in her line of products. Her cleanser tells me to “chill out” every night because the Camellia Sinensis Leaf Water (Green Tea Extract) and matcha soothe my skin.
Step 2: Taking Control of Your Texture
Exfoliating is important because it allows for your skin to absorb the rest of your skincare routine. Specifically, chemical exfoliants, which can multitask as exfoliants and humectants, sound intimidating at first, but do not need to be applied daily. Chemical exfoliation should only be done at night to be safe because they increase sun sensitivity. What’s important about this step is that you make sure to find a gentle exfoliant for all skin types. I enjoy using the NeoGen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Lemon once a week because it provides pads with two different textures on each side. Once a week, instead of chemical exfoliating, I use the Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel to rub away dead skin, impurities, and extra sebum to make my skin feel fresh.
After I rinse the residual exfoliant, I go straight into hydrating my skin.
Step 3: Hydration Help
Now we can start adding hydration to our skin. The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA provides the perfect hydration without feeling too heavy for my skin. It’s a perfect first step considering that I will be adding more hydration to my skin after this. It’s got a non-greasy formula that hydrates my skin without leaving it overwhelmed.
Step 4: Mask it Up
This step is for the days that I feel my skin is extra tired from being under the sun or outdoors. I started using cotton sheet masks, but I really have enjoyed the hydrogel masks because it doesn’t fall off my face as easily. I also really enjoy the bio-cellulose series by Mediheal. Its additional cooling effect feels great on my skin after a day in humidity. A recent favorite of mine is the Mediheal Capsule 100 Bio Seconderm Hydro. After the face becomes hydrated, don’t forget the neck!
Step 5: Extra Nourishment
This is an evening step that focuses on usually one active ingredient. Also, this step is the one that changes depending on what my skin needs. Recently, I’ve been needing a little brightening for my skin, especially because of the strong sun here in Taipei. I’ve been using the Cosrx Mela14 White Ampule about twice a week. In this case, I’m playing with niacinamide as the active ingredient. This ampule’s consistency is a little thick, so a little does go a long way. Make sure to never roughly rub your skin. Instead, gently pat your skin or use your fingertips at a faster tempo.
Step 6 (Night): Let’s Call it a Night!
Finally, we’re on the last step. Once I’ve hydrated our skin and nourished it with what is necessary for recovery, I need to lock in the layers of hydration we’ve added to our skin. Using my goat milk moisturizer experience, I lightly apply to my face in circular motions. I discovered the Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream by TonyMoly when I went back to visit Korea in 2017. It absolutely fits my needs for a moisturizer: watery, not heavy or oily, and most importantly protects and lubricates my face (and neck). Even when I was staying in California for university, this moisturizer was still enough for my skin type. It is extremely versatile.
For the days I feel like my skin needs a little more moisture, I pack on the COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask. This sleeping mask is extremely hydrating and also brightens the skin to make it appear even fresher. More importantly, I didn’t need to worry about this product transferring onto my clothes and pillow.
Step 6 (Day): Protect Your Skin
This is the most important step because if you do not protect your skin from the sun, then all the energy towards hydrating and maintaining your skin will go to waste. Using a sunscreen like the Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence is best for my skin because it is lightweight and has no white cast. Additionally, it is not sticky or oily, which is great for my normal-oily skin type in Taipei’s humid climate. One of the strong points of this product is that it is a water-based gel texture.
Hello everyone ~ I’m Nick. I’m extremely passionate about the intersection of education, political economy and liberation. I’ve lived in three different countries, so my skin must adapt wherever I go. As a result, I’ve had to pay attention to what my skin needs. I enjoy journaling, playing the cello, picnics, and biking alongside bodies of water. I hope to continue writing on different media.
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